I am writing a application which allow users to save a address into database (db) and in the next step it shows all addresses on a map. But in the saving step I need automatically calculate a GPS coordinates and save them into db too. But I don't know how calculate them because I don't want to show map in saving step so I can't use a Google Maps API.

Note: the Geocoding API may only be used in conjunction with a Google map; 
geocoding results without displaying them on a map is prohibited.

Is there a similar service without the restriction?


4 Answers 4


ESRI's geoservice's are also simular to google's.

For example fetching a json result for Antwerp: http://geocode.arcgis.com/arcgis/rest/services/World/GeocodeServer/find?text=antwerp&f=pjson

And they also support multiple languages.

More info on: http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/arcgis-online-geocoding-rest-api/index.html#/Overview_of_the_World_Geocoding_Service/02q000000008000000/


Have you tried http://www.geonames.org/ ? It has some webservices can return coordinates

  • I checked them but I didn't find any suitable webservice. Jul 28, 2013 at 14:13

Mapquest provides an open api with the same interface as their licenced api. You could also try nominatim directly.

  • This is exactly what I need, but I am afraid that almost every solution are made only for some countries and are not suitable for using world wide. I tried almost ten different web services but only google api is universal. Jul 28, 2013 at 20:04

My understanding of the Google Maps Geocoding API restriction is that the resulting points must be displayed on a Google Map; it doesn't say they must be displayed immediately. That is, you may store the geocoded coordinates in your database and display them at a later time as long as it's on a Google Map. Here's the pertinent text (emphasis mine):

(b) No Pre-Fetching, Caching, or Storage of Content. You must not pre-fetch, cache, or store any Content, except that you may store: (i) limited amounts of Content for the purpose of improving the performance of your Maps API Implementation if you do so temporarily (and in no event for more than 30 calendar days), securely, and in a manner that does not permit use of the Content outside of the Service; and (ii) any content identifier or key that the Maps APIs Documentation specifically permits you to store. For example, you must not use the Content to create an independent database of "places" or other local listings information.

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